What is Corey Chamblin’s Riders legacy?

Corey Chamblin is the newest member of an exclusive club of Saskatchewan Roughriders coaches that also includes Eagle Keys, John Gregory and Kent Austin.

Each won a Grey Cup as head coach of the community-owned franchise — Keys in 1966, Gregory in 1989, Austin (who was the winning quarterback on the ’89 team) in 2007 and Chamblin in 2013, a championship dubbed the greatest moment in Roughriders history because they won at home.

A celebrated coach can’t just distance himself from something like that, which Chamblin has been trying to do in recent interviews with Mike Hogan of cfl.ca and Murray McCormick of the Regina Leader-Post.

Now an assistant head coach and defensive co-ordinator with the Toronto Argonauts, Chamblin’s new team is visiting Saskatchewan for a CFL game Saturday. Chamblin, when being dutifully quizzed about his return to Saskatchewan, noted there are only four Riders remaining from that 2013 squad, the team is playing in a brand-new stadium and, besides, that Grey Cup was just a part of history hardly worth considering.

Sorry, Corey; nobody is that stoic.

He can downplay it all he wants, but like his predecessors Chamblin is linked to Saskatchewan forever because of their accomplishments. That’s their legacy.

Keys and Austin chose to leave the Roughriders on their own volition, but Gregory and Chamblin were fired about a season-and-a-half after their respective victories, partly because their teams struggled without their injured, starting quarterbacks — Austin and Darian Durant. The knock on Gregory and Chamblin upon their dismissals was they were being too stubborn, too loyal to some of the aging veterans on the squad.

Of course those criticisms won’t sit well with any coach because it’s really their unshakeable belief in their players and themselves that made them successful in the first place.

Indeed, Chamblin projected a cockiness, which he discusses and describes as self-confidence, that manifested itself in his decisions to stick with several players (including talented and unpredictable defensive back Dwight Anderson) after they embarrassed the team with a late-night fight at a nightclub. To make sure he wasn’t being undermined, Chamblin eventually winnowed his coaching staff of veteran assistants like George Cortez and Richie Hall, guys whose philosophies may have challenged the head coach’s theories and who were occasionally viewed as possible successors.

When Chamblin stubbornly stuck during a humiliating 2015 mid-season loss in Ottawa with a backup quarterback named Tino Sunseri, a pivot who had shown no ability to handle a CFL offence, Riders president Craig Reynolds decided to dump Chamblin. General manager Brendan Taman, whose “all-in” strategy to acquire and pay big-name talent for the home-town Grey Cup campaign, also got fired. With 2 1/2 years remaining on their contracts, the Roughriders likely paid $1.5 million in severance; that payout perhaps would make the club a little shy about replacing the new guy in charge, Chris Jones, and his reported $700,000 annual salary.

Keys, Gregory and Austin re-surfaced as head coaches with other CFL teams. Chamblin is the only member of the legendary quartet whose next CFL job came as an assistant coach.

Chamblin is likely bitter he wasn’t given an opportunity to rebuild the Roughriders, or so far given an opportunity to construct another Grey Cup winner as a head coach, but he should certainly be proud of what he accomplished during his 3 1/2 seasons in Saskatchewan. And there’s nothing wrong with any of those emotions.

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.
Darrell Davis
Darrell Davis
About Darrell Davis (119 Articles)
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.

29 Comments on What is Corey Chamblin’s Riders legacy?

  1. Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 10:27 am //

    He won a championship with a hundred and four year old franchise that has only won 4 tiles in it’s history. That is significant. He is one of the top coaches in their franchise. The standard for greatness has been unnecessarily set low in Regina. If Wes Cates gets into the plaza of honor Corey Chamblin should have his own tablet!.
    It still amazes me (not in a good way) how irreverent rider fans are to some past people. Chamblin, Austin, Durant are in a rare fraternity of people in green to hoist the silver. Yet they are spit on by rider fans. Others like Matt Dominguez, Mike Saunders and Chris Szarka are held in such high regard without really delivering wins.
    It really makes me wonder the priorities of this community owned team and the 1000’s of “shareholders”. Could it be ridernation bases more on looks and star power than great play and teamship? Is it the same as Canadians who are star struck by a prime minister who is charming, has stylish socks and looks great in selfies with teenage girls; yet does nothing and knows even less?

  2. Who cares? The Argonaut defense is playing well.

  3. Judge Jones // July 29, 2017 at 11:06 am //

    First rule of a good sports fan…leave politics out.

    • Horse only knows the rules about being an annoying sports fan. Calling the SPCA – Clearly your obsession with the Riders is leading you to neglect your horse

    • Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 11:37 am //

      Did you watch the series of shows TSN ran leading up the the 100 Greycup?
      Engraved on a Nation it was called. Some of those included political connections ad they were great!

  4. Southwest cowboy // July 29, 2017 at 11:06 am //

    To me, Corey Chamblin’s lasting legacy is him using the media to publically challenge the Riders to fire him.

  5. Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 11:41 am //

    Corey Chamblin isn’t the first person to realize they wanted out of Riders organization.

  6. Don Getty and Peter Lougheed are past Edmonton Eskimos

  7. Footballnut // July 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm //

    If jones makes 700k a yr then the league needs to readjust priorities that should go to players

    • Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 12:39 pm //

      I have no problem with the boss making more than the employees. However the boss but perform. Jones clearly isn’t

  8. ,,Patience // July 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm //

    Corry Chamblin’s legacy with the Riders will always be winning the 2013 Grey Cup. He took over a dismal team and in two years had a team that won the big game. Without totally ripping the team apart. Without $160,000 in fines. Without alienating some very good players. Without a revolving door that saw 102 players go through the turnstiles in one year. Without destroying the Rider brand. Yes, you will reply that he overpaid some players but at least they were talented players. He could recognize talent at least and did not have to audition the masses to find one or two talented players. The quarterbacks that he was trying to develop were on the right side of thirty. He was very young and probably had much to learn but he did the Riders proud. Welcome back, Corey.

    • Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm //

      I agree with all you say but would like add. It wasn’t him over paying certain players. It was his bosses making those choices

  9. mrincomprehensible // July 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm //

    Horsey judges Rider fans on what he reads here on these commentaries and what he perceives in his muddled mind. I hate to think what people would think of the Calgary fan base if judged compared to Horsey. Every fan base has some classless acts! Horsey lacks enough class for all the fan bases.

    • Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm //

      Wow I’m both saddened by the insult and flattered you think my influence spans all fans bases

      Are you suggesting all I read is fake?

  10. Geez – wasn’t the wonderful Corey Chamblin NFL bound as reported in the G&M a few years back , Toronto reporters , lol

  11. As good a head coach as Chamblin was, he used the players Brendan Taman provided. We the people demanded that the Riders win the Grey Cup at home, and Brendan assembled a team that could do it. Unfortunately creating that team required end loading some contracts, and when untimely injuries happened and the team got old fast, the people forgot that was the cost of the holy grail. Brendan and Corey were shown the door, and a massive rebuild began. Some of us with foresight and or those who don’t turn on their family, ever, are willing to live through the current struggles, as we believe in the end game.

  12. Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 4:22 pm //

    The people demanded winning the greycup at home??..But you are ok with lossing it every other year? And ok with where it’s left your organization? The goal of every team is winning the greycup. If the greycup happens to be in your stadium that year that a bonus but not the ultimate goal

    • You haven’t won it at home, so you don’t know the feeling. Nothing compares. It is worth numerous others won elsewhere. That we won it in what we all knew was going to be Taylor Fields last Grey Cup was all the more important. These are all facts only Rider fans can understand, we don’t expect others too.

      • Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 5:14 pm //

        1 moment of glory doesn’t make up for 15 missed moments of glory my friend. That day felt better than it was because you were all pissed up

    • As for losing it every other year, don’t forget you are only 1 year closer to your most recent Cup, 1.

    • And absolutely 100% yes, our current situation is worth the cost of winning 2013.

      • Hors E Power // July 29, 2017 at 5:17 pm //

        lol really Grain?
        Saskatchewan is hanging by a thread. A loss tonight and an assumed Calgary win pretty much ends Sask’s season before July is even done. You are really going to say at this moment it was worth it?

        • Without reservation. I was at the 2013 GC, I’ll be talking about it and treasuring the memories the rest of my life.

  13. give it a rest horsie, get your ass to historic McMahon and watch your beloved stamps roll over the hapless ticats.and don,t worry about the riders, worry about how you will feel if the stamps blow this game against the cats.

  14. YYCBANJOPICKER // July 30, 2017 at 9:11 am //

    Corey Chamblin should definitely be honoured as one of the Rider greats. While the Riders struggled without a bonafide QB half way through ’14 and all of ’15, the real reason that he lacked success was because of his inability to adjust the defence to the new defensive rules brought in.
    I recall an interview with Chamblin where he indicated things wouldn’t change with the new rules (I’m paraphrasing). What happened? The secondary was ravaged by penalties and big plays. The secondary was completely clueless under Chamblin’s tutelage and, a lot of them lost their jobs as a result when the regime changed.
    In short, Chamblin was good through the end of the ’14 season, but his inability to get the team to adjust the new rules was what ultimately sunk him, and the majority of the secondary let go when Jones came in.

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